The art of Listening in Life Coaching

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At J21 Coaching we feel that the most valuable, but often least used, communication skill is that of listening. The importance and art of listening is central to success with our clients.

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Listening is an essential coaching skill, and with nearly 80% of our coaching taking place over the telephone, the need to effectively listen is dramatically increased.

As life coaches and mentors, being deprived of the support offered from body language and facial expressions means that at times we depend entirely on words used, tonality, expression and silence.

With a total dependence on verbal communication in place, the art of listening is heightened, and therefore being able to listen well is an essential skill for a coach.

Many people listen, but do not hear – sometimes, it’s what a client doesn’t say and the verbal gaps during a coaching session which are critically important.

Effective listening is a skill that can be learned over time, just like reading and writing – but it takes time and practice. People also love to be heard, and using empathetic words helps to build trust and rapport during coaching.

Certain skills and techniques can be used to increase listening, but some people can feel manipulated if these tools are poorly used. The best way to deliver the art of listening as a life coach is – in our experience – to nurture a genuine, caring perspective to help each person as an individual.

This has little to do with technique, and everything to do with character. That can’t be taught, and is why we focus time and effort on listening – to build trust, rapport and a real connection with our clients.

More importantly, through good listening a life coach or mentor can help a client to find their own answers over time through gradual realisations.

‘If you make listening and observing your occupation, you will gain much more than you can by talking.’ – Robert Baden-Powell.

For more information on our coaching and mentoring services in Birmingham, please feel free to contact us here.

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